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  • Culture

    Fantastic Femmes

    By Frances Atkinson 01 November 2015
    Image – Man Ray

    FRANCE has more than its fair share of free spirited, sensual, and outrageously stylish women; from Joan of Arc to Brigitte Bardot and Marion Cotillard, here is our first installment celebrating the fierce, the iconic and the creative women of France.

    Kiki de Montparnasse

    Poor, obscure, abandoned; no wonder Alice Ernestine Prim changed her name to Kiki. The new name was the perfect match for a new destiny and by the time she collapsed and died outside her Paris apartment in 1953, she had already become infamous.

    An illegitimate child born in 1901, Kiki started modeling for artists when she was 14 and by the late 1920s, she was an established painter, nightclub singer, actor. Drama was central to Kiki’s life in Montparnasse; fierce and fearless, the whiff of scandal was ever present. Muse to Man Ray, lover of many, friend of Ernest Hemingway, Kiki sums up her own life best: “All I need is an onion, a bit of bread, and a bottle of red; and I will always find someone to offer me that.”